Determinants of better health- a cross sectional assessment of positive deviants among women in West Bengal


Background:Rural women in West Bengal have been found to have low rates of formal education, poor healthknowledge, high rates of malnutrition and anaemia, and low levels of empowerment. Despite these difficultcircumstances, some women have positive health outcomes compared to women with similarly disadvantagedbackgrounds. The purpose of this study is to identify factors associated with positive health outcomes amongwomen with primary education or less. Methods:Multivariable regression models were built for outcomes of positive deviance to better characterize thefactors in a woman’s life that most impact her ability to deviate from the status quo. Results:Positive deviants in this context are shown to be women who are able to earn an income, who haveaccess to information through media sources, and who, despite little schooling, have marginally higher levels offormal education that lead to improved health outcomes. Conclusions:Study findings indicate that positive deviant women in disadvantaged circumstances can achievepositive outcomes amidst a host of contextual barriers that would predict poor health outcomes. Focusing on areassuch as enhancing access to media sources, facilitating self-help groups for married women, and promotingprolonged education and delayed marriage for girls may improve health knowledge and behavior among marriedwomen with low levels of education.


Katelyn NG Long, Lisa H Gren, Chris A Rees, Joshua H West, Parley Cougar Hall, Bobbi Gray, Benjamin T Crookston



Contact Details

Department fo Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA

Year Of Publication